Convicted Elder Abuser Up for Parole

It's been a year since an Angelina County jury sentenced 55-year-old year-old Sharon Boulware to prison for elder abuse, and Friday, she's up for early release.

In Texas, an inmate is eligible for parole after serving at least a quarter of their sentence. Eligibility is based on how much time a prisoner has actually spent behind bars and the credits they've earned for good behavior.

Michelle Lyons, Director of Public Information for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, said, "She was sentenced to ten years. She has served about one year and almost a month of physical time behind bars. When that's added with the ten months and about 20 days that she has accrued in good time, it's as though she has served 2.5 years behind prison."

Being granted parole is neither a simple or speedy process. It can take anywhere from four to five months before the parole board even makes its decision on an inmate's release.

"They also very much look at the nature of the crime and also any letters of protest that might be filed against this inmate by the victim's family," Lyons said.

A parole review simply takes a look at whether an inmate has earned the right to be released early. Being eligible for parole is not a guarantee an offender will get out of prison. If Boulware's parole is denied, it'll be up to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles when she will once again be eligible for early release.

Last June, a jury convicted Boulware for mistreating elderly patients left in her care. The case centered around two patients she cared for in her Huntington home. One patient died just one hour after leaving Boulware's residence. Another ended up with severe bedsores.

Boulware was not licensed as a health care provider while taking care of her patients. Her projected release date is 2016. The patients who lived with her in her home were either removed from her care by their relatives or died shortly after leaving the residence.